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Standard 3: Critical Reading and Writing

Students will apply critical thinking skills to reading and writing.

 For more specific genre information, please refer to Genre Guidance (page 4 of the Support Documents.).


WRITING: Students will write for varied purposes and audiences in all modes, using fully developed ideas, strong organization, well-chosen words, fluent sentences, and appropriate voice.
8.3.W.1 NARRATIVE Students will write narratives incorporating characters, plot (i.e., flashback and foreshadowing), setting, point of view, conflict, dialogue, and sensory details.

Student Actions 

Teacher Actions 

The following statements are elements of a narrative piece of writing.  While composing, teachers and students

need to keep in mind the writing process (8.2.W), word choice (8.4.W), and language (8.5.W)

  • Students will compose a real or imagined story.

  • Students will establish the characters and setting (time and place) of their story.

  • Students will create a well-structured event sequence  that moves the reader through the story or experience using plot elements such as flashback and foreshadowing.

  • Students will clearly define context and point of view.

  • Students will establish a clear conflict and solution/resolution.

  • Students will use dialogue in their writing (when appropriate).

  • Students will use sensory details to enhance the story. 

  • Teachers provide examples of strong narratives that include characters, plot, setting, the point of view, conflict (i.e., internal, external), and dialogue.
  • Teachers model how to create a narrative.

  • Teachers share mentor texts to show how authors:

    • Establish characters

    • Use plot (i.e., flashback and foreshadowing)

    • Establish setting (time and place)

    • Initiate point of view

    • Demonstrate  conflict (i.e. internal, external)

    • Use dialogue

    • Use sensory details

  • Teachers model how to write a narrative by thinking aloud through a piece of their own writing.
  • Teachers allow time for students to practice composing narratives while realizing not every piece needs to be taken completely through the writing process.

Supporting Resources

Teacher Insights



  • Flashbacks and foreshadowing are used to enhance the events of the story.

    • Flashbacks are interruptions that writers use to insert past events, in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative.

    • Foreshadowing - a warning or indication of (a future event).

  • Narrative writing conveys real (nonfiction) or imagined (fiction) experiences or events. Narrative writing tells a story.

  • There are 3 types of narrative writing: nonfiction, imaginative, and personal.

    • Narrative Nonfiction: a story about real experiences or events

      • Personal Narrative: a particular kind of narrative nonfiction in which a writer tells a story about herself or himself

    • Imaginative Narrative: a story about imagined experiences or events

  • Introductions to narratives can be enhanced with an attention grabber or hook.

  • Each type of narrative has characteristics: characters, setting, point of view, conflict, vivid details, and narrative techniques such as dialogue.

    • Some of these elements are explained more in depth at 5.3.W.1.

    • Plot includes rising action, conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution.

    • Dialogue  adds to a narrative by giving readers a better understanding of characters and/or plot.

    • Students will use a beginning, middle and end in their narrative writing.

  • The narrative should employ concrete language to develop plot and character and use a range of narrative devices. (e.g., dialogue, suspense, and figurative language) to enhance style and tone.

  • Sensory details include sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Students can use these to engage their reader’s interest.

  • Example Prompt:  What if you were the oldest tree in the forest, and were about to be chopped down? Write a story about your encounter with the lumberjack that includes flashbacks, foreshadowing, and other literary elements.

Due to recursive nature of the standards, it is essential that teachers are aware of how all objectives within and between strands work together for optimal instruction.

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